Garden is a mitzvah

My favorite aunt suffered a late miscarriage when I was just a child (“Memory Garden,” cover story, Nov. 9). Of course, I never knew that until I grew up. What I did know was that on July 4 (the anniversary date) every year, my aunt was distraught and unapproachable. Later, when I learned the nature of the anniversary, I understood.

I think this experience was one of the reasons I chose to become a clinical psychologist, and to this day I often see women who have had late-term miscarriages in my practice.

I congratulate all who were involved in creating this article and the Memory Garden. It is a mitzvah for all concerned.

Dorothea Z. Lack   |   San Francisco


Obama win signals rough times

A second Obama term means, in my opinion, greater distance between the U.S. and Israel than ever before and continued emboldening of Israel’s enemies. Why do I say this?

Last February, the Israel Project published the results of a poll that showed that Hispanic Americans, like African Americans, are relatively hostile to Israel. Yet this block helped put Obama over the top. The Pew report of 2011 showed that while 75 percent of Republicans sympathized with Israel, only 32 percent of Democrats did. The ADL survey of 2011 found 42 percent of foreign-born Hispanics “hold anti-Semitic views.”

Against this backdrop of increased anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment, the Obama win signals a rough time for U.S.-Israel relations. We all remember the anti-Jewish signs among the “99 percenters.” In addition, with the Obama anti–Wall Street fear-mongering and the view that Jews control big money, one can only conclude that Israel is on its own and Jews in America need to be more vigilant.

Linda Diamond   |   Berkeley


Hamas killing won’t end war

Israel’s killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari on Nov. 14 is not the end of the war. I am sure that many Israelis will be sleeping in bomb shelters for the foreseeable future.

Still, I commend the Israel Defense Forces for removing this terrorist from the battlefield and for acting against some of Hamas’ long-range missile silos with potential to strike Tel Aviv.  I am hoping against hope that this will start to drill home the message to Gaza’s leaders that firing hundreds of rockets against southern Israel’s civilians is unacceptable.

Among other things, Jabari was responsible for kidnapping Gilad Shalit, who was released in 2011 after five years of inhumane captivity in exchange for hundreds of despicable murderers held by Israel.

For now, Israel’s northern border appears to be quiet, but one wonders how long it will take Hezbollah to heat things up on that front, and it’s anyone’s guess what’s happening to their sponsors in Syria and Iran.

I was in Israel in 2004 when Israel got Jabari’s predecessor, Saleh Shaheidah, and despite Hamas’ bravado in the immediate aftermath, nothing really happened. Jabari’s successor will certainly be involved in future atrocities, and Israel will need to be steadfast in its response.

Steve Lipman   |   Foster City